Story: Historic volcanic activity

Bombs and blocks

This film clip, taken during the 1954 eruption of Ngāuruhoe, shows incandescent material being thrown out of the crater. Material that is ejected as molten lava is called a volcanic bomb, and often shows the effect of spinning in the air or landing on the ground; cow-pat bombs were common, and their shape can be readily imagined.

Solid chunks of lava blasted from the volcano are called blocks. The huge size of some of these illustrates the power of the eruption.

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How to cite this page:

Eileen McSaveney, Carol Stewart and Graham Leonard, 'Historic volcanic activity - Tongariro and Ngāuruhoe', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 July 2024)

Story by Eileen McSaveney, Carol Stewart and Graham Leonard, published 12 Jun 2006